Family Event «Listen to me» Ruvo di Puglia (BA, Italy) 2002

20th — 27th October 2002.

A personal experience: Letter of Arleta Kubicka of Poland.

My name is Arleta Kubicka. I am a mother of 7 years old daughter, Izabela, who is a deaf-blind child. I live in Poznan, in west of Poland.

On 20-27 of October 2002, I participated in the Family Event «Listen to me» held in Bisceglie, Italy. It was a great honour to be chosen as a representative by the Association for the Welfare of the Deaf-blind People. It was the first international event I took part in. I was accompanied by the blind interpreter, Anna Rozborska. I was going there with a tremendous potential of energy. I wanted to learn, see and hear as much as possible In order to be able to share that with other parents from the Section of Parents of Deafblind Children at the Association. I think I was able to achieve my goal. The conference was very interesting, full of stimulating topics. I managed to bring many and material which I was going to use afterward. The conference proved the importance of such meetings dealing with problems of deafblind children’s families. It showed how important it is to recognize problems of each deafblind child individually and that the society understand that problems. It was the first time international conference that included both families and their deafblind children. The atmosphere was great, and gathered unusual people, about 70 persons from 16 countries. I could meet there families from whole Europe. The problems they deal with on everyday basis are almost the same as ours.

William Green, the organiser of the conference, planned very interesting subjects, which were presented by experienced speakers. Those subjects applied to upbringing, growing up, education and spare time of our children. Nobody else knows so well, as we parents, how important these issues are on everyday basis.

While parents participated in lectures and presentations, the children took part in the music therapy workshops, where through sound, light and other sensations they were able to experience the surrounding world. It was really amazing that thanks to the sound the children were able to get involved into the environment.

Charming place, unusual parents, wonderful people- those are phrases that can conclude that conference. I felt like among family. In spite of the language barrier, I felt that nobody is a stranger, that we know each other for a long time and the problems discussed are our commons problems.

All information, the video movie I shot during the conference, are presented to the parents on meetings of the Section of Parents in Poland.

After the solemn dinner and last meeting the wonderful conference was closed for me. I would like to send my warmest greetings to all participants, William Green and all the Parents. I would like to get in contact with you to share information on our organisations to be able to develop the international relationships in aid of our deafblind children.

Arleta Kubicka
Os. Orla Bialego 117 m 12
61-251 Poznan — POLAND
Association for the Welfare of the Deafblind People
(Towarzystwo Pomocy gluchoniewidomym)
Konwiktorska St. 9
00-216 Warsaw, POLAND
e-mail: tpg@tpg.org.pl